12/03/2012 02:02 EST | Updated 02/02/2013 05:12 EST

Unionized staff at Insurance Corp. of B.C. ratify new contract with wage hikes

BURNABY, B.C. - Unionized workers at the Insurance Corp. of B.C. have voted 71 per cent of ratifying a new contract with the public auto insurer.

The agreement covers about 4,600 employees, members of Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, who staged a three-day strike during the summer and overtime bans to press their demands.

The contract includes a four per cent wage increase that will be implemented in stages, with the first increase retroactive to July 1, 2012.

The agreement, which expires in July 2014, also includes improvements to maternity and parental leave.

COPE local 378 President David Black says the deal promises a workload study at ICBC, the first such study in nearly 20 years.

Black says his members are struggling under crushing workloads and under the new agreement the two sides can start to fix that problem.